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Unread 10-26-2020, 10:20 AM   #1
FidoFarmer
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Does this shower wall construction work?

Hi all, I've been scouring this site for a few days and feel much more educated than before but I'd feel better asking my question directly.

I'm doing a 60" x 38" shower. I have everything down to the studs and subfloor. I have access all around the shower because everything is apart.

My goal is to have a 2" hexagon tiled shower floor and 3"x10" subway tile shower walls.

I've done 3 similar bathrooms at my old house, but this is now my next "forever" house so I'd like to do it correctly (it's also been 10 years) and some of the easily avail materials are new to me.

My plan is to use the Kerdi shower 60" x 38" shower tray. This would go stud to stud. I'd then attach Hardibacker above it (leaving a .25" gap all around). I'd mesh tape/thinset the Hardi/Hardi seams, leaving the bottom where the Hardibacker meets the shower pan alone for now. Then I'd Redgard the walls. Next, I'd use Kerdi band 5" waterproof strips around the bottom where the shower pan meets the now Redgarded Hardibacker. And then tile on top of that. Does that process sound like it'd work?

In the past, I never used Redgard, and would put up plastic mil behind the Hardibacker. I also used acrylic tubs in the past. I never noticed any problems before but I'm not positive I didn't miss it.

Thanks for the time!

Paul
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Unread 10-26-2020, 10:42 AM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Paul.

I'd recommend against your plan. First, if you install that foam tray even before you install your wallboard you will damage it before you're done. Yes, you'll put plywood over it and you'll even cover that with something, but you'll still managed to damage that foam piece.

Second, using RedGard for your walls and attaching KerdiBand to that might work. Operative word is might. Far better plan would be to use Kerdi on both the walls and shower floor.

One of the features I like best about the direct bonded waterproofing membrane (Kerdi is one) shower construction methods is that I don't even need to install the drain until the ceiling and walls are waterproofed, tiled, and sometimes even grouted except for the bottom row of wall tiles. I can then install the drain, create a mud shower floor (far better than foam and properly sloped), cover it with the membrane and finish the shower.

But it's all entirely up to you.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 10-26-2020, 12:19 PM   #3
jadnashua
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When you add the cost of the Hardieboard, screws, tape and Redgard, to me, it makes more sense to just get some Kerdiboard panels. You do need to band the screw penetrations and seams, but you eliminate the hassle of getting two good coats (well, three, since you need to prime Hardie with a diluted coat first) without runs or pinholes all between the min/max thickness. While their foam pan works just fine if your floor is flat and level, and the drain is exactly where the tray wants it, it isn't all that hard to pack (not pour, the stuff is like wet beach sand) a pan, then cover it with Kerdi sheet membrane. and materials cost will be about 1/3'rd or so, if not less.
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Unread 10-27-2020, 08:22 AM   #4
FidoFarmer
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Cx and jadnashua, thanks for taking the time to provide a thoughtful reply. It's appreciated.

One follow up; I've checked for Kerdiboard panels in my area, and they don't seem to be easily available. Is it something I just have to dig harder to find?

I found a kit online that seems like it has everything I'd need; sloped pan tray, flanges, curb, but it comes with 108 sq ft of waterproofing membrane, not the board panels. With proper install technique, is that just as sound?
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Unread 10-27-2020, 08:46 AM   #5
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Yes, it's at least as sound.

Keep in mind that with that foam tray your subfloor must be very near perfectly level and flat. Very, very near. Those trays may not have even the required 1/4" per foot slope required by code and if the subfloor is not level you lose some of that.

With a mud floor you can compensate for any out of level or flat with the mud while making a level perimeter and the minimum or better slope. You also save a good bit of dinero.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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